Catastrophic Engine Failure in Mazda

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 18:38
ThreadID: 102974 Views:3747 Replies:11 FollowUps:22
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Hi everyone, need some urgent advice/help please:

My daughter’s 2003 Mazda 6 Luxury Sport had a catastrophic engine failure last night. It is the 2.3 petrol engine, and done 135,000km. She has owned it for 6 years. It has always been serviced according to log book and well cared for (never driven hard). She was just approaching an intersection when she heard a noise and the car starting running very rough. When I arrived I noticed a trail of oil for about 20 metres and a large pool of oil under car. Had car taken home by tilt tray. A closer look reveals 2 large holes in engine block…one at top, one at bottom. Questions…is this a common problem with 2.3 engine, what causes it and where is the best place to buy an exchange engine (we are in Brisbane).
Would it be worthwhile to approach Mazda as I would expect an engine to be “fit for purpose” for more than 135,000km even though it’s a 10 year old car. Has anyone ever had a positive resolution with Mazda for an outside of warranty claim?
Thanks for any help anyone can offer.

Cheers
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Reply By: Bushranger1 - Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 18:50

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 18:50
G'day,
Many major engine failures can be put down to a broken camshaft belt.
A breakage will result in the pistons colliding with valves & the engine basically being destroyed.

Most manufacturers recommend 100,000 or 5 years as the change interval. If this was not done at the major service then this will most likely be the cause. Don't think you will get far with a warranty claim either way I am afraid.

Cheers
Stu
AnswerID: 513829

Follow Up By: Member - Wamuranman - Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 19:16

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 19:16
Thanks Stu for your thoughts.
Thats the first thing I checked. The Mazda 6 has a timing chain that is tensioned by oil pressure. there is nothing in the manual that says this chain needs to be changed. The service manual also does not list any timing belt or chain to be replaced (goes to 160,000km in services).

But I agree that its a fialure like this that could cause that sort of damage.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 792620

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 19:36

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 19:36
Ok then the chains last a long time & never let go anyway.
They usually can get a little noisy with time & I have heard that on turbo vehicles they can jump a tooth on the sprocket.

Must be something else then. Very frustrating to have a major failure on such a low mileage vehicle.
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FollowupID: 792621

Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 21:42

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 21:42
Chains can & do break, ask Navara owners!

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FollowupID: 792628

Follow Up By: mountainman - Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 23:55

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 23:55
not only navara owners but pajero owners too..
3.2 did.. and the triton owners..
chain lets go and smashed engine is the result..

mate had it happen to his car..
they bought it for like 10g.. told them to sell it for 20g what it was worth, get a cruiser.. he was a cruiser man, she wasnt keen..
got it off her brother CHEAP, but cost her dearly.... in the end..
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FollowupID: 792636

Reply By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 19:53

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 19:53
It's 10 years old so I would say it would be a bit of an insult to ask.

Learn what "fit for purpose" is first before embarrassing yourself...... if it applied for everything we would never buy anything new and most businesses would have no work.

It's simply bad luck.
AnswerID: 513837

Follow Up By: get outmore - Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 16:50

Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 16:50
Wouldnt be so harsh. He is on the right track.
You could definitly reasnabally expect a dealer serviced vehicle to last longer than 130k
However after 10years really it wouldnt fly
What might be worth it though is to see if inadequate servicing caused the fault as dealer services also come with warranty
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FollowupID: 792693

Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 19:17

Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 19:17
They haven't had it from new, so who knows if the mileage is genuine?
Also the 130,000 could have all been very short trips which is conducive to more wear!
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FollowupID: 792697

Reply By: Ross M - Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 20:15

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 20:15
G'day Wamuranman

Sad to hear of the engine problem/disaster.
It isn't likely an engine would have a failure at those KM.

I smiled to myself when I read your logbook reference as it sort of means the engine has been well looked after.
My views re log books has been aired previously and I still believe the log book bears no association with the actual work done, or rather, not performed on the car.

Have a look at the oil colour, quality and lubricity. It may not have been changed for many many kilometres.
If it isn't quite clean, yes, discoloured by carbon a little but not loaded with carbon, it would seem the contamination of the oil would cause catastrophic big end failure and then engine action would make the holes.

If dealer serviced it may not have had a high grade oil when serviced and when in for service it may not have been changed regularly. Usually a recipe for disaster in modern engines.

The only comeback/claim you would have IMHO would be if the oil condition was suspect and a sample could be sent for analysis to determine the time/quality of the oil used. Then you will know where you stand to make a subsequent claim.

The owner of this company alerted the nation to a fuel issue a few years ago.
If it is any consolation he has tested oil form a Mercedes which had done over 50,000km and never had an oil change by the dealer/stealer.

DYNA FUELS an industry recognised test industrial chemist, do test oils and fuels. They may be able to test a sample of the oil to determine what is the situation to enable a claim.
Dyna Fuels
Endeavour Hills Victoria 3802
Melb
Ph 0405 749 145

Hope this helps

Cheers
Ross M
AnswerID: 513840

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 20:34

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 20:34
Yeah lets kick a dealer..... they are the cause of all our world issues.... I feel better now.
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FollowupID: 792624

Follow Up By: Member - Wamuranman - Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 21:52

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 21:52
Good point Ross.
I will endeavour to get an oil sample from the sump. There would not be much oil left in it based on what was under the car, on trhe road, and what came out on the tilt tray as it was winched up at an angle. The dip stich eppeared to be a browny colour, certainly not black so I think the oil was changed at the last service.
But I will take the sump plug out and get the best sample I can.
Cheers
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FollowupID: 792629

Follow Up By: Ross M - Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 21:58

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 21:58
olcoolone.
Each time a situation arises where a service agent could/may be an issue or cause of a fault, you seem to go into bat for and defend them.
In most cases, if the actions of some service centres was good then they would never have anything to fear.
It is the actions of many businesses which do create problems for unsuspecting motorists.
Yes, engines can fail for unexplained reasons and checking the oil quality will determine if the servicing has been sufficient and therefore not a factor in an engine failure. This is advised first as you will have already read. No good trying to find the cause after all evidence has been disposed of, is there?

If servicing centres didn't do what they do to customers they would avoid the flack that is directed towards them.

Let us all try and help the thousands of motorists who are victims of malpractice. No malpractice and the troubles won't be there.
Nearly all correctly serviced vehicles do not have premature failures.
A very small percentage can have a problem but most do not.

Only people who are in a similar business seem to condone what they do. Why is that happening?

Ps Log books are meaningless.
Cheers
Ross M
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FollowupID: 792630

Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 22:34

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 22:34
Isn't this off topic, As it has nothing to do with 4wding 0r camping.
GU RULES!!

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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 23:19

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 23:19
Ross I'll go and bat for anyone especially if it's made by false accusations, dealers are no different to no dealer service facilities.... good and bad in both.

The number of vehicles we see or hear about from non dealer service facilities that have done the wrong thing by the customer far outweighs wrongdoings by dealerships.

Hate to tell you; malpractice is live and well in the non dealer sector.

It seems Ross before your post there was nothing mentioned that the vehicle had be serviced and maintained by a dealership but you still seemed to conclude this could possibly be a cause of the failure.... all that was mentioned was it has be serviced according to the log book (think he means service schedule), this is the basic standard most reputable repairers will follow.

Mechanical devices will always have a failure rate and in most cases it's just a matter of time.

Anything could've happened..... a sensor failure making it run extremely lean, oil pump failing and a rift of other things..... being front wheel drive they could of hit something damaging the sump and kinking the oil pick up restricting oil..... yes we have seen it.

Could have even had an injector fail dumping too much fuel in with the unburnt fuel diluting the oil to an extent where the oil lost it's properties nipping up a bearing and throwing a leg out of bed.

As for oil quality..... even the cheapest oil used in an application like this will give good longevity and you would be hard pushed to find a dealership who would use the cheapest nastiest oil they could find.

Oil samples will show little in a destroyed engine and may be a cost that isn't needed... if an engine has be subject to extreme temps, loading and shear oil will carbonise, pulling an engine down will give a better understanding of the failure.

Sorry for ranting on but I get annoyed when people make comments and assumptions with no or very little data to back their claims.




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FollowupID: 792635

Follow Up By: Ross M - Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 00:17

Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 00:17
I checked and yes I did say IF. Perhaps you missed it.
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FollowupID: 792640

Follow Up By: Member - Allan L2 - Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 10:15

Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 10:15
Ross,
Judging the condition of a lubricating oil by it's colour went out the window decades ago, possibly five decades or more. Modern day lubricating oils have additives that will, in fact discolour your oil at an earlier stage. More information on this can be gained from studying
"detergent-dispersant" additive to oil.
Cheers.
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FollowupID: 792652

Follow Up By: GimmeeIsolation - Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 00:40

Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 00:40
"I will endeavor to get an oil sample from the sump. There would not be much oil left in it based on what was under the car, on the road, and what came out on the tilt tray as it was winched up at an angle. The dip stick appeared to be a browny colour, certainly not black so I think the oil was changed at the last service.
But I will take the sump plug out and get the best sample I can."

As a person in a mining company who read the results and anaylysed the info of hundreds of machines in the fleet I can tell you that getting a sample now is useless and not the way to take a sample.
The bottom of the sump has a lot of crud and an engineer will shoot you down immediately when you tell them how you got your sample.
Save your money. Just start looking for a second hand engine.
Mechanical things fail and there is probably a better chance the bonnet was not lifted by the owner enough or noticed any changes in noise.
Brown oil (was it creamy brown ?) could be water ingress.
Stop looking for somebody else to blame and find that engine.
Jap engines are fairly cheap and these things happen occasionally.
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FollowupID: 792791

Follow Up By: fisho64 - Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 15:47

Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 15:47
Gimme is right. I deal with oil sampling also and as far as I know there is no unequivical way to determine how many hours an oil has done.
Also as said a sample is useless-going to tell you that the oil is full of particals "resample at a reduced interval" :-)

A suggestion Wamuranman would be to show your daughter how to check the oil and recognize if something is wrong ie "brown oil".

Its a life skill anyone with a licence should learn along with changing a tyre.
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FollowupID: 792896

Reply By: Member - mechpete - Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 22:44

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 22:44
how about you stop trying to find someone to blame , put another motor in the car an get on with your life
mechpete
AnswerID: 513849

Follow Up By: Member - Wamuranman - Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 07:30

Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 07:30
Hi MP,
I am not trying to blame anyone at all but thought it worth asking some questions to cover all bases. Sometimes there is something in the past that someone knows that may be useful information to have. My main request actually was to see if anyone had any ideas as to the best place to get an exchange engine in Brisbane area. That does not sound like I am blaming anyone to me.
I also don't think this is OT...as it relates to the Mazda brand of which some owners have 4x4. Also what causes such a failure is relevant to owners of all modern vehicles.

Cheers

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FollowupID: 792643

Follow Up By: bluefella - Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 15:22

Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 15:22
Not off topic in my opinion you can EXPLOROZ on a Dinky, if that's your go.
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FollowupID: 792688

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 23:08

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 23:08
It's mechanical so it's only as strong as the weakest component! You only need a big end bolt to fail to cause such a failure. It's not normal but it can happen. Ask thousands of 3 Litre Patrol owners who were ignored by Nissan Australia when there $10,000 engines self destructed at about the same ks as your Mazda, sadly most owners go no help and only some got parts and no labour. Most of these Patrols were well under 5 years old! Mazda won't even talk to you at 10 years old, it really is at its end of life in Mazdas eyes. Buy a cheap local motor from a wrecker and get it back in the road may be the go. Regards Michael.
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

Retired 2016 and now Out and About!

There's time to rest when you're dead,
Get out and do something instead!

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AnswerID: 513851

Reply By: snow - Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 09:47

Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 09:47
Wow Wam'Man reckon by now you are probably sorry you asked.
AnswerID: 513861

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Friday, Jun 28, 2013 at 03:05

Friday, Jun 28, 2013 at 03:05
Plus one to that. :-) Better not to stick your head up out of the foxhole around here these days.
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FollowupID: 792720

Reply By: TerraFirma - Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 12:26

Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 12:26
Hi Wamuranman, I think you ask a fair question, don't know why there has been so many aggressive responses. At 130k with regular service intervals engine failure is rare and would certainly surprise me. Age comes before KM's though with regards to claims so you will have no luck with Mazda so I would concentrate on finding an engine, either new or re-co or via a wrecker. You could chase your tail trying to find the cause, put it down to " bleep Happens" and stick to your regular service intervals and see what happens. I was checking the oil in my ski boat one day and noticed debris in the oil, it turned out to be a old singlet that had obviously found it's way into the rocker cover and in turn into the sump. (engine survived but moral of the story, bleep does happen)
AnswerID: 513868

Reply By: John and Regina M - Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 23:12

Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 23:12
My son was 18 a few years ago and used to tell me he drove his car with kid gloves. He certainly cared for it well.

Then I drove around a corner to see him sliding his car around the next.

'Well cared for' is a relative thing.
AnswerID: 513891

Reply By: suparoo49 - Friday, Jun 28, 2013 at 22:12

Friday, Jun 28, 2013 at 22:12
My daughter’s 2005 Mazda 6 Limited Edition had a catastrophic engine failure last year also, she was driving home and about 2kms from home the engine started making a horrible noise, she limped home at around 10 - 20 km/h and when she pulled up the noise was horrendous. The car used to travel 110 - 120 kms round trip via Hwy 5 days a week.

She had the car transported to a workshop who told her the engine was seized and there was metal chunks in the sump oil, the workshop rang around and found 3 x 2nd engines, one of them only had 80,000 kms on it so she bought that one. The workshop didn't even bother to fully open the old engine.

We just traded her car in today and gave her our car to replace the Mazda.
AnswerID: 513956

Follow Up By: Member - Wamuranman - Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 07:11

Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 07:11
Thanks suparoo that is interesting and the feedback I was looking for. Not that it changes anything but at least we know this has happened before and ours was not the first (or last) one it happened to.
Mazda 6's seem to be a vehicle of choice for young women...both my daughters have the same model and both were purchased s/h from female owners.
But when we get it fixed I think we will trade it in on something else. It is still not known what caused the problem...that is the worrying part.
Cheers
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FollowupID: 792796

Follow Up By: Axle - Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 08:35

Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 08:35
Hi Suparoo, Just for interest sake ,how many Ks had the vehicle done?


Cheers Axle
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FollowupID: 792801

Reply By: Rockape - Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 08:43

Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 08:43
Don't know if you have read this but it could be the cause.

Engine failure LINK
AnswerID: 513966

Follow Up By: Member - Wamuranman - Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 09:15

Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 09:15
Thanks Rockage, I had not seen that link before.
That is exactly why I posted on this FORUM to all the sceptics...not to lay blame but to gather information that I otherwise would not have been privy too.
Thats an interesting article RA.
Cheers
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FollowupID: 792806

Reply By: Member - Wamuranman - Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 10:06

Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 10:06
For anyone interested I have a few photos of the damage. The failure occurred right at the mounting bracket that goes from front axle/CV joint to engine. I wonder if that was a factor as my daughter was travelling very slow at time of failure but turning into a corner. Anyway if these pictures help identify how failure may have occurred I would be happy to hear your comments. Just trying to understand how it happened , thats all.



Cheers
AnswerID: 513972

Follow Up By: snow - Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 10:54

Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 10:54
Thanks for the pics W'Man, can't help with diagnosis but I do find it interesting and if it were my car I too would be intrigued to learn of the cause, like yourself not so much about apportioning blame but rather simply understanding why. It may just save someone else the same grief.
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FollowupID: 792816

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